19-20 Gozran, 44 NC
The party is stunned for a moment at Volkov’s announcement.
”So much for wanting peace, eh?” quips Smoot.
After brief exchange, Volkov affirms that Gronk corroborates the story of Vane wanting peace, and that his hand has obviously been forced.
The collective team brainstorms for a time. The news of the invasion had been delivered through magical means and had coincided with the conquest of Westergarde. There was quite a bit of speculation about the motivations of the sudden shift in tides.
Ralben rather sheepishly admits that’s there may be an alternate reason for the assault. He tells the gathering that Delayne Muerdetta had stolen an item that belonged to him, and the Ringwielder may have detected it was no longer under his protection. After a brief sidebar with Jacob, he explains more fully.
After some considerable exposition, the following is a summary of the party’s understanding of the state of affairs:
- Delayne Muerdetta and Jacob Mengst (who showed every sign of becoming besotted with one another) are in the wind, traveling on foot to the East. It’s likely that she seeks to link up with what’s left of the Black Rose Society, as she is technically in command now that Captain Tennyson is dead. Ralben believes she is in possession of his tome.
- Ralben won’t reveal the name and nature of the tome, save that is is bound in plates of warpstone. According to Ralben, the tome was originally discovered by a Kisharan soldier named Levin who was in charge of the garrison constructing Tablenhelm Keep around the Waygate. The Ringwielders hunted him mercilessly until Ralben took possession of the tome several years later and concealed it. Ralben reveals that while the tome could not be used to destroy a Waygate, it could provide instructions on how to disable one. He’s unsure how Muerdetta came to know of its existence in the first place, much less what it imported, but it’s noted that she was always a scholar before a soldier.
- Little is known of Gideon Nell, or why he had infiltrated Volkov’s Army, though the command now has to assume all of their secrets are compromised. Jacob believes that Gideon Nell is a demon bound in service to an ancient elf named Leitus ar’Shamriel Vin. Leitus was one of the original discoverers of the Waygate, and had an early understanding of what it portends. He has since become obsessed with the arcane arts that the ancient ones used to build the gates. This quest has compelled him to hoard warpstone to use in his experiments. This was likely what drew Gideon Nell to Shara Tev’s trading post in Karpassis. The party is unsure what Nell’s mission was, and if it was to secure the Ring of Spirit, why he let it go so easily.
- Isaac Vane is almost certainly following the direct command of Aril Flambeau , the Ringwielder of Fire, to invade the North. There’s no understanding the motivations, whether due to Ralben’s tome being stolen, or the end of the civil war in the North. The assembled party agrees that ultimately, Sanorin’s unique talents will be needed to slay Flambeau, but in the near-term, the best course of action would be to establish a dialogue with Vane to understand his motivations. Volkov provides an enchanted book that will reflect anything written in it to its pair and entreats the party to deliver it to Vane. He instructs them to meet at the docks in the morning.
Upon leaving the briefing, Gidget and Faun fall into step with Sanorin, having silently decided that they’ll add to his guard. The party gathers supplies and meets up on the docks the next day, where it is revealed that Poppy Sokeldodge is the captain of the black Man’o’War that aided in the assault on Westergarde. They board the ship and head out to sea. After a time, the ship turns around and begins heading East back towards the shore, and then some magical effect takes over and the ship begins to fly.
The party soars off into the Eastern skies towards High Guard fortress.